A few weeks ago, a company in an industry known for it’s lack of innovation did something pretty innovative. British Airways took 130 innovators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers on a chartered 747 from San Francisco to London to hack solutions to “the global misalignment of talent“. We then presented our solutions at the G8 Innovation Summit in London.
At 30,000 feet, and without much sleep, we were split into small teams that would tackle 4 separate problems:
1) Meeting US demand for talent globally
2) Expanding STEM
3) Growing STEM in emerging economies
4) Fostering Women in STEM
Some pretty amazing concepts were developed on the plane, and some are even being put into action (like AdvisHer, an online community that leverages the power of pipeline programs to advise, advocate, and accelerate women into STEM university programs and STEM companies.)
Yet, what I found most unique about this whole trip was the selflessness of it. It was unlike the majority of conferences where you network or learn on behalf of, and for the benefit of, the company or organization you represent. Instead, British Airways spent between 6 and 7 figures USD to advance solutions for a problem we face as a collective society. And, they invited 130 people who wouldn’t talk about their own backgrounds, but would use their experiences to solve a problem often far different than their organization’s.
A great trip, truly proving that the sky isn’t the limit.
Watch the Ungrounded highlights video here!